Beach season is upon us. That means one thing: sand. Well, it means fun, of course, but really it means sand. Everywhere. In your shoes. In your car. In your hair. In everything you touch between the beach and your house — including whatever gadgets you like to bring to the beach. For that reason, you need gear that digs the beach just as much as you do. So stock up before heading off to the shore, and you’ll be able to splash around and make sand castles without fretting about your gadgets.
Oh, and here’s a secret trick: Stash a couple gallons of fresh water in your trunk, and use it for a final rinse of your hands, arms, legs and feet before actually climbing into your vehicle. Beachside showers are great, but once you leave those shower stalls, the stuff still has a way of materializing on your person by the time you get to the car.
Dragon Alliance H2O Sunglasses
Not only are these sunglasses water-resistant, with rubber nose pads and temple tips and hydrophobic coatings on the lenses, but they float, too. As anyone who’s ever been tossed by a rogue wave or forcibly ejected from a jet-ski can tell you, that’s huge. It doesn’t hurt that they’re also sleek and stylish rather than blatantly “sporty.” We dig.
Ricoh WG-M2 Action Camera
When you go to the beach, you want a camera you can bring into the water, throw to your buds on the rocks without worry, tie on a string and dunk off your surfboard to film the sharks circling below, or duct-tape to a football just to see what happens when you throw it. This WG-M2 — an affordable, no-worries action cam — gives you great 4K footage, 8MP still images and down to 20 meters of underwater shooting. It’s like a little photo-tank for beach assaults.
LifeProof Aquaphonics Bluetooth Speaker
You know LifeProof as a maker of water- and shock-resistant smartphone cases. The brand has adapted that expertise to speaker tech with its newest releases, the Aquaphonics lineup of Bluetooth speakers. The compact, portable devices are waterproof to three feet and drop-proof from four feet, and they’re sealed against the insidious infiltration of sand. Just sync yours up to your phone to stream music — and even take calls, via the built-in mic — and you’ll be able to inject some audio into your bonfire or simple beachside lounging. The AQ9 is good for 16 hours and it has a carabiner to attach it to your pack; the AQ10 plays for 13 hours and floats; and the AQ11 plays for 15 hours and can also charge your phone while simultaneously playing music from it.
LG Watch Sport
Don’t bring your Omega to the beach. Seriously — it’ll get scratched up in the sand and if you take it off to protect it, it’s guaranteed to fall out of your bag and become hidden treasure for some old guy trolling the sand with a metal detector. Instead, wear this new LG smartwatch, which has a beach-friendly rubber strap, a rugged yet still sleek and modern design that will look as good at dinner as when you’re body-surfing in Hawaii, and, most importantly, Android Wear 2.0, which means you can stay connected while your smartphone lies tucked away. Take calls, send messages, control music streaming to your Bluetooth speaker and even track your heart rate and exercise with Google Fit.
Laughing Lion Dry Bag
There are times when you want your gear to be subtle and elegant, and there are times you want to scream “HERE I AM RIGHT HERE BOBBING IN THE SURF COME GET ME!” That’s kind of what you want in a dry bag — a bright yellow beacon with built-in reflectors detectable from a hundred yards away in case it gets lost, dropped overboard, or snatched away by the surf. But the Laughing Lion is also very smartly designed, with a long strap, seven attachment points for the most comfortable fit when carrying it, and rugged 420D nylon that will take a dragging without damaging its internals. It’ll float and keep everything inside bone dry.